With advances in veterinary medicine, it is possible for vets to offer higher and higher standards of care for their patients. In human medicine, supplies of blood and blood products are available through the efforts of the National Blood Transfusion Service. Vets however must rely on their own resources. That's why the Animal Blood Register was created.
Every day pets just like yours need blood transfusions. For many procedures a transfusion is a clinical necessity, without animal blood donors, veterinary surgeons could not undertake important and often life-saving operations. You can help, there’s always a need for donors like your own pet! By becoming an animal blood donor, your pet can help vets help other pets through provision of life-saving blood transfusions.
The purpose of this web site, free to owners and vets, is to bring animal blood donors to the attention of vets, so that lives can be saved. Please consider registering your pet as a donor and making him or her available when you are contacted. You can contact our website administrators who will be happy to complete the necessary forms on your behalf, just call 01582 883950 and ask for VIP assistance.
We provide veterinary practitioners with an on-line database of potential pet blood donors, pets just like yours!
Veterinarians need only register with us to start using our website. It is free to use for all bona fide vets. There is no joining fee, no subscription fee or hidden costs. Vets can search our listings as often as they need to. Veterinarians must first register their practice, then each vet at their practice who wishes to use our website simply requests a login. They must provide their veterinary registration number first.
The veterinary registration number is unique to each qualified vet and in the United Kingdom can be verified by the Royal Collage of Veterinary Surgeons. Once a vet has a login they can access our database using our website search facilities, designed for speed and efficiency, to give them the best chance of finding a blood donor for their patient, it could be your pet!
Once a vet has found a potential animal donor he/she can request the contact details for the owner, perhaps you? They can then make contact to arrange a donation. Simple, speedy and effective, exactly what we need in an emergency. Your own vet does not need to be registered at our website, we will ask for their contact details when you join and may contact them with an invitation to add their practice.
Donor animals should be checked by a veterinary surgeon that they are fit and healthy enough before making a blood donation, in which case the risks of donation are very small.
Traditionally, donations are made without payment although, sometimes, a gesture of goodwill may be offered by the veterinary practice taking the blood. This is not something the Animal Blood Register can oversee and is a matter for the owner of the donor and the practice.
Blood transfusions have many uses and can be critical, life-saving procedures. Blood loss through injury e.g. road traffic accidents or other causes of bleeding, such as rodenticide (warfarin) poisoning can lead to death or make any anaesthesia to treat underlying damage very risky. In these circumstances, fresh whole blood can make all the difference! Sometimes, an animal’s immune system can attack its own red blood cells (immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia), and blood transfusions are necessary to prevent fatal anaemia whilst medical treatment is working.
As well as fresh blood, in some circumstances, whole blood can be stored for anticipated usage or even divided into component parts and stored e.g. fresh frozen plasma. In the latter case, one donation can help two or three patients!
Dogs and cats, like humans, have blood groups and can be blood typed. Ideally, donor and recipient should be type matched. This is
critical in cats.
As well as typing donor and recipient, cross-matches can be performed to confirm compatibility, and are recommended where the recipient has had a previous transfusion. This test involves incubating donor and recipient serum and red blood cells and looking for a reaction outside of the body that indicates an increased risk of a reaction inside the body if the transfusion is given.
An ideal blood donor is a friendly, healthy, clinically normal animal that is not pregnant or has not produced a litter if an unspeyed bitch. Donors should be vaccinated (although not within 10-14 days before donation) and free of infections and parasites, especially blood borne disease.
Blood can be collected in unsedated dogs if they are cooperative, which is often the case for those of an easy-going temperament.
Collections can also be made from the sedated or anaesthetised animal if necessary. Cats typically need sedation or general anaesthesia
for an effective collection.
Blood is usually taken into standard human blood bags or syringes that contain anti-coagulant. A large accessible vein is needed-this is typically in the neck or, sometimes, the cephalic vein on the front of the foreleg. The area is usually clipped and cleaned and aseptically prepared before insertion of the needle. After donation an area of swelling and bruising may be seen which should fade over a few days.
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A standard blood donation in the dog is 450ml (‘one canine unit’) and this can safely be obtained from a 25kg dog; smaller amounts may be obtained from smaller dogs. In cats a volume of 11-13 ml/kg is typically taken.
Repeated blood donations over a relatively short period of time can lead to anaemia, and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. For this reason, after a donation is made and recorded on the site, the donor will be blocked from being called via the registry for three months
The Animal Blood Register makes no charge to either owners or vets for using the site.
Start-up funding for the project was obtained via Perry Consulting, Famous Websites and Davies Veterinary Specialists. Additional support has been obtained from generous sponsorship of various organisations wishing to help us continue our work. A full listing of our sponsors can be found » here «
Telephone: 01582 883950
Facsimile: 01582 883946
Animal Blood Register
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